.
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Interlocking Tower Guru Needed.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Question Interlocking Tower Guru STILL Needed.

    Recently upgraded to TRS2019 from TRS2010. My large route based on a prototype uses a lot of single track mainline on which I operate 27 AI consists on near prototype schedules. Much of the single main line control was achieved with the old third party single track static block rule. That rule was easy to trick with the old PATH command for spurs and crossings along the single track blocks. In going to TRS2019, I have lost the command and also the path command. Most of the single track was easy to fix using the Interlocking Towers, but I have one situation that I cannot figure out, here it is: From the passing siding at Talcott Meadows (TLQ) to the passing siding at South Olympia (OLS) is a single track mainline. The problem is that there is a crossing with another railroad that is less than a mile from the Talcott Meadows sidings. No problem to set up paths for either the crossing OR for the single track section. The issue is to setup for both! Once a westbound train clears the crossing, it still has 30 minutes of single track along the path to OLS, but I want to release the crossing. For eastbounds, when they obtain the path for OLS to TLQ, they tie up the crossing. I need a way to release the crossing while retaining the single track committed path.

    Is there a way to do this without maintaining a variable for "Block Busy" and setting up two separate Tower paths for the single track block? There is not distance enough from the TLQ junction to the crossing to permit signals along that part of the main line.
    Last edited by Robert704; January 17th, 2020 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Update

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,038
     

    Default

    Hi

    As nobody else has replied I thought I'd chip in with my ideas on this.

    You don't state which Interlocking system you are using, the N3V one or Pierre Guys, but I would use the Enhanced Interlocking Towers by author "pguy" because of all the enhancements that he has included.

    I'm going to assume that the intersecting tracks are both single and that the crossing is protected by four signals. One enhanced interlocking tower (EIT) would be used to control the crossing at each end and the single line section in both directions. The EIT would have paths for entering and leaving the single line section in both directions (4 paths) and the crossing will have paths for each track in both directions (4 paths).

    All of the paths in this EIT should have the "assignment" parameter set to manual and in addition the four paths controlling the crossing should also have the same name (I suggest "TLQX") entered in each "exclusive sets membership" parameter. By using the same name in each path it will make each of the four paths mutually exclusive.

    To use this system our train approaching one end of the single line section would pass through a trackmark followed by an "IT SetPath" driver command to set the exit path first, followed by an IT SetPath command to set the path through the crossing and finally another IT SetPath command to set the path into the single line section.

    The order in which the paths are set is important with the path out of the single line section being set first to minimize the chance of a train coming the other way blocking the exit path before our train sets its exit path which would be a slight risk otherwise.

    The paths for the intersecting paths will also need to be set manually as you can then control when they are set by passing through a trackmark.

    I have never had to control a crossing in this way but I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work. If you come across any issues with this please post back and I'll see if I can come up with a solution for you.

    Regards

    Brian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Default

    Thanks for the description. I am attempting this with the NV3 assets first as a protection against further suprises. I had a LOT of them going from TRS2010 toTRS2019, and am just now getting the Tacoma & Eastern back on line. NV3 could use a good centralized tower manager/editor. Yes it did work, the crossing tower manages the four paths over the crossing, and is fully encapsulated insde the (basically) two paths managed by the line towers. It was a little more involved than that due to a line interchange to the crossing line, but that was handled by the crossing tower. Basically, what I learned is that the line towers do not mess with the internal signals of the path if they are left as automatic.. The only other thing was a second line path in one direction to a holding siding at the Eastern end for slow trains. Geared log pullers are NOT fast!
    Robert704
    Tacoma & Eastern RR (v)
    Last edited by Robert704; December 25th, 2019 at 12:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Default

    UPDATE -- gave up and went to PGuy's system for the tower manager rule. Much easier to maintain and edit without the display moving all over the map. One thing I still do not understand is the order of precedence for AI Track warrants. Specifically, the precedence for Interconnecting Tower Paths vs. the Navigate To commands and where the Autopilot Command while driving to a Trackmark fits into all of this. It seems that TRS2019 needs a lot fewer commands to accomplish a specific schedule and more is left to the AI, but the software does not always react as I expect. Another example, "Couple To" commands seem to be able to reach a lot further to determine a path than before. It is able to get through some yet-to-be determined number of junctions before it gives up on finding the vehicle it is looking for.
    Robert704
    Tacoma & Eastern RR (v)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    2,038
     

    Default

    Hi Robert704

    If you use the Navigate to/via commands with EITs you will have problems as both may be trying to control junctions along the path at the same time.

    Navigate to/via will set a path to a trackmark and if it finds an obstruction (red signal or junction set the wrong way) it will try to find an alternative route. This can lead to the situation where a train will reverse for miles trying to find an alternative route. Drive to/via is similar but if it finds an obstruction it will wait until the obstruction clears. Autodrive or Autopilot just drive to or via a trackmark without any path setting involved which makes them ideal for use with EITs.

    I usually find that trying to use Navigate to/via with EITs can cause problems in Tane as both methods fight to control a junction or signal. TRS19 seems to handle these issues better. Normally I only use Autodrive with EITs but occasionally have also used Drive to/via when I can get away with it.

    I haven't used the couple command for a good few years. It again may cause clashes with the EITs as it tries to find its path. I always have the Schedule Library as one of the rules in my session and create a couple schedule from the driver commands ApproachToTrain (on DLS), Couple Ahead (Built In) and SetDCCThrottle (Built in). The sequence is SetDCCThrottle 0.4, ApproachToTrain 20 meters, SetDCCThrottle 0.3, ApproachToTrain 10 meters, SetDCCThrottle 0.18 and CoupleAhead. This schedule can then be copied into any loco schedule that needs it by using the Copy Commands From driver command. You may need to experiment with the values in the SetDCCThrottle commands to suit the locos that you use.

    You must set the train direction to face the vehicle that you need to couple to and you must set a path to the vehicle using a path setting method. One advantage of this couple schedule is that the train will ignore any signal that it comes across so it will couple to a vehicle in a siding even if the signal protecting the siding is at red. Another advantage is that it doesn't need to know anything about which vehicle to couple to.

    Have a look for driver commands by author "atilabarut" on the DLS (he wrote the commands above) and look for such commands as AutoDrivePastJunction which allows you to use a junction in a similar way to a trackmark and is great for shunting in a yard or station. He has a lot of other commands that are worth trying as well. All the ones that I use regularly are still working in TRS19 even though they are about 15 years old.

    Regards

    Brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    482
     

    Default

    Another way of coupling is to use the three commands SetDCCThrottle (This can be set for the engine either forwards or reverse); CoupleAhead (Does what it says on the tin!). Basically you would use a tower route to set the path from where the engine is to the consist, then implement the two commands. I set it up as a sequence within Scedule rule. Another worthwhile addition is the ApproachToTrain rule. Basically if the loco has a long way to travel you can set the DCC at a faster rate, Set ApproachToTrain to 20m, then set a slower speed for DCCThrottle and then CoupleAhead. Again is better as a fixed library command in Schedule library.

    Regards

    Yorkshire

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Question Enhanced Interlocking Tower Guru STILL needed.

    I still cannot seem to find what I am doing wrong. REVIEW - The path is a single line mainline of some 8 miles from OLM to TLQ (names for reference). Just before the passing siding at TLQ by 1/2 mile is a crossing with the Tacoma Harbor Line. I do NOT want the crossing disabled for Tacoma Harbor for the life of the entire path OLM->TLQ. This is vintage steam circa 1800s, and speeds are not that high. SO, what I tried to do is create a departure path from OLM to the single track main line, AND an arrival path (that included the crossing) at TLQ from the main line to the passing siding. The reverse direction was done the same way with a departure path from TLQ that (included the crossing), and an arrival path at OLM. I specified the two departure paths as an Exclusive Set Members "TLQX". (symbolic only - referring to the crossing), so departures from one end cannot start if the other departure path is active. The TLQ departure path and the TLQ arrival path both have external signal entries that hold any Tacoma Harbor crossing traffic while the TLQ segment of the paths are active. All seems OK so far. I then attempted to link the departure paths to the arrival paths by specifying "process only tcb for exit signal" for the departure paths to permit activation of the arrival path prior to the terminating signal of the departure path. This does not work. Trains stall at the terminating signal for the OLM departure path, and the Arrival path starting at that same signal never activates. Was the TCB capability ever completed in the enhanced towers? Do I need to do something else to make it work?

    FAILED ALTERNATIVE - Earlier I tried to use a second enhanced tower to protect the crossing with paths INSIDE longer paths that ran from OLM to TLQ and vice versa. That did not work because the crossing tower owns signals that the full path tower needs to manage, and I could not get both the full length path and the shorter crossing path inside of it to activate at the same time.

    Robert704
    Tacoma & Eastern RR (v)

  8. #8

    Default

    Hi Robert

    I have tried to draw a schema of what you described and how I would have paths, signals and tcb to protect your route. Here is the link to download this schema :
    https://share.icloud.com/photos/0xx9...aH7elZiVRLD7Yg

    My solution proposal splits your route in three parts with 6 paths to cover it in the two directions. It uses also a tcb to detect single track occupancy.

    the two paths for entering the single track should use a common exclusive set so that only one path can be activated at a time to enter the single track and the exit signals should be included in the tcb area so that entering path cannot be activated while the single track is occupied.
    the intermediate paths are used as usual to protect the crossing tracks and should use another exclusive set to protect themselves so that only one intermediate path can be activated at a time. As the intermediate paths exclusive set is distinct from the entering paths exclusive set the crossing track should be accessible as soon as the intermediate paths will be released.
    the leaving path should not need any exclusive set or tcb option as they are exclusive to the entering path by construction sharing a common junction.

    the protection relies that using a common exclusive set it is not possible to have two trains entering the single track simultaneously and as these paths use the exit signal tcb option they are also not activable while the intermediate single track is occupied. And when an incoming train releases the entering path it has used it is occupying the single track tcb and no other incoming train will be allowed until the train has left also the single track area due to the tcb protection.

    I have not already tested this configuration but for me it should work. And that is how I would configure the paths if I had such a route configuration.
    The entering and leaving path EP1 and LP1 should be in the same tower. the intermediate paths can be in the same or in another tower. And paths EP2 and LV2 can be in either the same or another tower. You may use 1 , 2 or 3 towers for this configuration.

    I hope this helps.
    and thanks for trying using my EITs. I know that the learning curve is hard, but you can do a lot of things with them.

    regards.
    Pierre.
    Last edited by pguy; January 18th, 2020 at 12:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Default

    Thanks Pierre,

    You came close to what I want to do, but there are some problems.

    1. There is not room from the TLQ sidings to the crossing to place a signal that would be meaningful. It also would not look prototypical.
    2. I think it can be done with two segments for each tower, one for departures (in an exclusive set) and one for arrivals. I have modified
    your diagram in the link == https://www.dropbox.com/s/u3qyn12nyy...ssing.pdf?dl=0
    3. In reality, there only needs to be an 80 meter inter-block gap between the two added signals (solid symbol).
    4. The issue I am having is that the terminating signal for each departure path is also the starting signal for the arrival paths, and thus
    are owned by the other tower. There is a workaround to place an invisible signal 80 meters in front of each of the added signals and terminate the
    departure path at the invisible signal, but that leaves a potential 80 meter gap between the end of the departure path and the beginning of
    the associated arrival path. The using of the invisible signals is probably OK because the visible signals will not have any false reading. But, how
    to protect that 80 meter gap when a single loco is crossing? What I cannot make work is the idea of a tcb processing using the terminating signal
    of one tower as a starting signal of another tower.

    On some thought, perhaps I do not understand "tcb"s. Is the single track block implied, or does it need to be defined with insulators or other special
    symbol requirements. In short, how is a tcb defined?
    Last edited by Robert704; January 18th, 2020 at 05:00 PM. Reason: Added Question.

  10. #10

    Default

    Looking at your diagram I would put an invisible signal (one each way) just beyond the crossing from TLQ and set the path to that signal with an exclusive tag A. Place another exclusive tag B after it for the remainder of the line.
    Two paths East to West first to the new signal with tag A and B and the second from the new signal with tag B to the end.
    Path from West to East path with tag B to new signal and path from new signal with tag A. Set both signals to proceed in the path set up.
    North/South use tag A for the exclusive.
    Exclusive sets is the only way two towers can connect to each other.
    Last edited by stagecoach; January 18th, 2020 at 08:05 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    United States of America, Oregon, Bend
    Posts
    47
     

    Default

    SOLVED! Mia Culpa regarding understanding of tcbs. I found some old stuff on the TANE developer's forum discussing tcb implementation, changed the location of my track insulators and added the tcb detection device. Some things started to work then, but I still had some train stalls at signals. I then recreated the paths at each end to extend only from the host towers home signals to the sidings and the reverse at each end. The last thing was to add the crossing holds for the Tacoma Harbor to the two paths in the TLQ tower, and voilà, everything started to work.

    Thanks again, Pierre. Your comments on the tcb extending the protection led me to understand that the full path did not need to be protected by the path definitions only, and that I could shorten them and rely on the tcb processing to provide protection for the long middle portion of the block. I edited the link in my last post (1/18/20 2PM, above) to include the final setup that worked.

    Robert704
    Tacoma & Eastern RR (v)
    Last edited by Robert704; January 18th, 2020 at 08:31 PM. Reason: Updated Link.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia, VIC/Melbourne
    Posts
    408
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert704 View Post
    SOLVED! Mia Culpa regarding understanding of tcbs. I found some old stuff on the TANE developer's forum discussing tcb implementation, changed the location of my track insulators and added the tcb detection device. Some things started to work then, but I still had some train stalls at signals. I then recreated the paths at each end to extend only from the host towers home signals to the sidings and the reverse at each end. The last thing was to add the crossing holds for the Tacoma Harbor to the two paths in the TLQ tower, and voilà, everything started to work.

    Thanks again, Pierre. Your comments on the tcb extending the protection led me to understand that the full path did not need to be protected by the path definitions only, and that I could shorten them and rely on the tcb processing to provide protection for the long middle portion of the block. I edited the link in my last post (1/18/20 2PM, above) to include the final setup that worked.

    Robert704
    Tacoma & Eastern RR (v)
    Robert,

    Your reference to date and time of a post is only relevant if we reside in the same country/timezone as you. It is better to reference the post No. as shown in the top RH corner of the post, in this case it would have been post #9.
    Geoff

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    USA - North Carolina
    Posts
    943
     

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pug View Post
    Robert,
    Your reference to date and time of a post is only relevant if we reside in the same country/timezone as you. It is better to reference the post No. as shown in the top RH corner of the post, in this case it would have been post #9.
    As info. The post number is a link to the specific post so you can also right click it, copy as a link, and paste in a post. Such as this-

    See this post: #11
    TRS19 SP1(Plus), 105100(plus), 105932(+beta)
    ASUS B450M-A/CSM, GTX 1060-6 Windforce


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •